What kind of engagement ring should you buy?
Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 3.54.12 PM.png

So you know that you want to get engaged, but jewelry is not your thing. The pressure that comes with buying her the right ring gives most guys extra stress that they don’t need. The thought of her not liking the ring, which you just spent a small fortune on, drives most guys to the brink of insanity. Here are a few tips that can help to ensure you get her the ring of her dreams, or close enough at least.

1) Pay attention to her style!

What kind of jewelry does she wear everyday? Most girls tend to have a look or a style that resembles their personal identity. Does she wear more accessories that are big, bold and flashy, or is her look more simplified and dainty? Does she wear more jewelry that is white, pink or yellow? Start paying attention to the jewelry she is currently wearing, from everyday simple earrings and necklaces to what she wears out with her friends on the weekends. I know that it sounds simple, but by actually paying attention to her you should be able to pick up some ideas which will help steer the search in the right direction.

2) Ask someone close to her.

If you’re totally clueless on what she would love, a great idea is to simply ask someone close to her if they can help point you in the right direction. Obviously this needs to be someone that you can trust who will not spill the beans to her and ruin the surprise, but if it’s one of her close friends or sisters that you know can keep your secret then they can be one of your best sources to find out what she is going to love. They can help by sending you pictures or ideas that they find online, from Pinterest, Google Images etc. which will give your jeweler to direction they need to start showing options that are right for you.

3) Propose with the diamond, and then design the ring together.

One of the most popular trends people are doing today is proposing with a diamond solitaire ring, and then coming back together to design her ring. Let’s face it, half of the fun in getting engaged is the surprise of how you ask her the big question. With this option, the guy buys the center diamond first and we set it in a classic solitaire for him to go propose. After the proposal, the couple comes back together and she gets to design the perfect ring for her, which could be completely different than what he would have picked in the first place. This option is great because he still gets to do the surprise, and she gets to create the dream ring she has always wanted.

If you would like to setup a consultation to learn more about Custom Engagement Rings please contact us here.

Abe Jacobs
Should I Buy a Custom Engagement Ring?
Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 4.26.50 PM.png

Think about it - almost every item you purchase is mass produced; Your food, your clothing, your phone, your car, your furniture, and pretty much everything in between has been made for the masses. Buying an engagement ring is a once in a lifetime purchase; it’s an opportunity to create something that is custom for you. Something that only you own, with love and meaning behind it. As I’ve talked about before - what makes your engagement ring so special is the story behind it. 

The more thought you put into your ring, the more sentimental it becomes. Imagine if you were to buy an engagement ring online; a ring that has been manufactured overseas and is identical to tens of thousands of other engagement rings purchased from the same place. How would your partner feel knowing that the ring he or she is wearing is also being worn on countless other individuals? At what point does that ring become one-of-a-kind? When friends and family ask you about the ring - what will be your story? 

The engagement ring should be one-of-a-kind. Being able to describe the details about your engagement ring and the reasoning behind your choices are what makes the story. Some of the preliminary questions I ask my clients are to describe their partner in detail: What is their style like? What types of activities are they in to? What is their workplace like? Their overall identity is extremely important when choosing the best ring design for your loved one.

But how will you know which ring design will suit your partner the best? The answer is to get help from an expert. Finding the right jewelry designer is just as important as picking out the right engagement ring. The right jeweler should be able to ask you these questions and properly guide you to the best ring designs based on your answers. 

Building a custom engagement ring isn’t as expensive you'd think and does not mean that you will spend more than if you were to buy a pre-made ring; in many situations you will actually spend less if you were to design a ring on your own. Most jewelry experts have access to insider pricing and should be able to help you find the right diamond or gemstone to maximize your budget.

If you would like to setup a consultation to learn more about Custom Engagement Rings please contact us here.

Matthew Kaufmann
How Much Should I Spend on an Engagement Ring?

This is typically one of the first questions that our clients will ask us during a consultation, and it's a fair question to start with. They will ask; Is it three months salary? What do most people spend? Should I spend as much as my best friend spent on their ring? The best answer to all of these questions is not to think about them at all. It's about what's important to you and your loved one. Remember that you are purchasing an engagement ring because you are wanting to ask your special person to spend the rest of their life with you. Your budget should be based on what you feel comfortable spending and on a ring that you feel that your future fiancee will truly love. 

I am always reassuring my clients that you can build an amazing ring for $5,000 and you can build an amazing ring for $50,000. It's less important about how much you spend on the ring, but more important about how much thought you put into it. Remember to listen to your partner during the leading months prior to meeting with a jeweler. It's the the little things that are included in a custom design that make the biggest difference. Don't purchase ring that's already made, take your time and build one from scratch. It will mean more in the end, and your partner will appreciate the effort you put into the ring. Your story behind every detail of the ring will be what sets your engagement ring apart from the rest. Your jeweler should be able to guide you through the selection of each aspect of the engagement ring and must be able to give you a great explanation behind each aesthetic in order for you to understand what your buying.

If you would like to setup a consultation to learn more about Engagement Ring Pricing please contact us here.

Matthew Kaufmann
EngagEment Ring Talk: May Birthstone - Emeralds

 

There are many things to consider when purchasing an Emerald for a custom engagement ring. Below is a short summary to help kick start your search, but I highly recommend speaking with an expert before moving forward on your selection. 

Things to consider when buying an Emerald engagement ring:

  • The most desirable Emerald colors are bluish green to pure green, with vivid color saturation.
     
  • Expect to see inclusions in Emeralds. This happens because of the way they are formed over time. The less inclusions the higher the price.
     
  • Because it's density is lower, a one-carat emerald will appear larger in size than a one-carat diamond.
     
  • Most Emeralds have gone through a form of heat treatment to improve the color saturation, which is ok. 
     
  • Less valuable Emeralds have also gone through a clarity enhancement process to improve it's transparency, which is not ok. Clarity enhanced gemstones have a short life span and will fracture over time.
     
  • Recommended Emeralds start at around $1,000 to $2,000 per carat, and go up from there. Because Emeralds appear larger than their carat weight it's more important to focus on the dimensions rather than the weight.

If you would like to setup a consultation to learn more about Emerald Engagement Rings please contact us here.

Matthew Kaufmann
Should I Buy a Pear Shape Diamond EngagEment Ring?

 

Yes, Pear Shaped Diamonds, also known as "Tear Drops" are one of our biggest requests this May in Santa Monica. Pear Shapes were first introduced in the 1400' by Lodewyk van Berquem, a diamond cutter responsible for major improvements of the symmetry and placement of facets in many popular diamond cuts. The cut is a combination of an Oval Shaped Diamond and a Marquise Cut Diamond. 

Pear Shaped Diamonds are great for Engagement Rings. They are classic, and have an elongated profile adding a touch of elegance to any design. Because of their unique proportions, most Pear Shapes will appear much larger in size than many other diamond shapes. A large portion of the carat weight is on the top half of the diamond making it appear slightly bigger than it's carat weight.

When designing a ring, it's very important to consider your hands and your fingers. Pear Shapes are great for women with longer fingers. Pear Shapes are a fancy shape which means that GIA does not offer a cut grade for these types of diamonds. Pear Shapes can be found in an infinite amount of length-to-width ratios, the most popular being between 1.50–1.75:1. Some are longer and more narrow, some are shorter with larger shoulders, choosing the right Pear Shape ratio depends on your specific wants for the design.

If you would like to setup a consultation to learn more about Pear Shape Engagement Rings please contact us here.

Matthew Kaufmann
New Trend Alert! Teal Sapphires

 

Selecting a gemstone for your engagement ring is very common in today's bridal ring designs. Many couples are choosing to opt-out of the tradition Diamond engagement ring, and instead pick a vibrant colored gemstone of their choice. The best part is that you don't have to pick your standard Green Emerald or Red Ruby, you can pick any hue of gemstone you please. In 2018 we have noticed a large interest in Teal Sapphires. The color of this Sapphire is a slight greenish blue, which is very similar to an Alexandrite. 

The great part about Sapphires are that they rank a 9 on the MOHS Scale. This is very important because it means that this particular gemstone is more durable than most other gemstones, and has a stronger probability of staying intact throughout the wear and tear of everyday life. You can find these sapphires in most shapes and carat weights. Most commonly, you will find this gemstone cut into a Round, Oval or Cushion. We recommend setting a Teal Sapphire in White Gold or Platinum - the combination is stunning!

If you would like to setup a consultation to learn more about Sapphire Engagement Rings please contact us here.

Matthew Kaufmann
Push Present Gift Ideas

What Is A Push Present?
Nowadays it's very common to gift a loved one shortly after they have given birth. This gift carries a lot of significance because it creates a family heirloom with a specific meaning behind it. Once given that piece of jewelry will always represent an important experience in time. But what should you choose as a good push present?

Birthstone Right Hand Rings
One of the best ways to incorporate the birth of a newborn in your Push Present would be to design a ring around the baby's birthstone. Most birthstones are very affordable and when set in a traditional diamond setting are very attractive. It's best to plan this gift within a few weeks of the expected due date. 

Aquamarine Engagement Ring

Birthstone Pendants
You can never go wrong with a gemstone pendant. A simple bezel set birthstone, dangling on a delicate gold chain, is bound to get a lot of attention. A pendant like this can be worn everyday for any occasion.

DSC_1116.jpg

Stackable Diamond Eternity Band
You can never have enough diamond bands. Stacking is a fun way to show your off your personality through your hands. A great way to turn an eternity band into a Push Present is to replace a single diamond with the child's birthstone.

DSC_0115 Ruby.jpg

Diamond & Gemstone Cocktail Earrings
An important pair of earrings is always a great gift, especially when you add a child's birthstone into the mix. Choosing to buy a pair of cocktail earrings kills two birds with one stone. You checked off the box for fun dangle earrings, and at the same time you are able to gift an amazing push present symbolizing a special newborn.

DSC_0214.jpg
Matthew Kaufmann
5 Engagement Ring Trends for Summer 2018

 

Solitaire Engagement Rings
Solitaire diamond rings have been around forever and have never really gone out of style. However, we have been noticing a strong trend in the majority of couples coming in and asking to look at these style. Solitaires are a great choice because they put the emphasis of the design on the center stone. Another benefit to this design is that you won't have to allocate a lot of your budget to the setting. Since a solitaire doesn't have any accent diamonds you can use the majority of your budget on the center stone.

Two-Tone Settings
Two-Tone ring designs are a great choice if you like something classic, but you also like a would like a touch of color. By keeping the prongs and basket of the ring in white gold or platinum you are safeguarding the colorless hue of your diamond. We are seeing more couples designing this ring with a platinum head and a rose gold band.

Bezel Settings
For the bold, this ring design is not only modern but it is one of the safest ways to set a diamond. Coverings the edge of the entire diamond you can ensure that the girdle will be less likely chip, and it gives the ring a distinct outline of the shape of the center stone.

Basket Halos
This design is a great transition from the "Halo Era" to today. By placing a row of accent diamonds on the pavilion side of the diamond it keeps the overall aesthetic of a classic solitaire when viewed face-up, but when you turn the ring on it's side you get to enjoy a surprise burst of brilliance.

Engagement Eternity Bands
In 2018 there are no more rules for engagement ring designs. We like what we like. A lot of people have active lifestyles or they work in fields that won't permit a tall center diamond. If this sounds like you an important eternity band could be a good choice. Most often our clients will design an eternity band with a little more weight when going with this option.

Matthew Kaufmann
Does the Color of a Diamond Affect the Brilliance or Sparkle? The Importance of the Cut Grade:

A common misunderstanding that we hear from our clients is that they assume a diamond which is lower on the diamond color scale will have less sparkle or brilliance than a diamond which is higher on the color scale. However, this perception of color relating to the fire of a diamond is not always true.

The brilliance of a diamond is most closely related to it's cut grade. The cut grade of a round brilliant diamond starts at poor and goes up to excellent. An excellent cut is the highest cut grade given by GIA. As you move up the cut grade scale the diamond will begin to have more life, more brilliance, and more fire. A round diamond with an excellent cut grade has the most even pattern of bright and dark areas, and scores in the top category for all grade-setting determinants such as weight ratio, durability, polish, and symmetry.

 Image Courtesy of GIA

Image Courtesy of GIA

You have to keep in mind that out of the "4 Cs" the cut grade is typically the hardest for consumers to grasp. The cut grade is something that is best understood when seen in person, and when comparing diamonds side by side. Our clients will often try and teach themselves online but they won't completely grasp the importance until seeing a real diamond close up. You must remember that a diamond is very similar to mirror. As light comes into a diamond, each facet (individual cuts on a diamond) will display it's own individual reflection of the world around it. 

When viewing a diamond for the first time face-up, it's important that you start your inspection from an arm's length and slowly bring the diamond closer to your eye. As the diamond gets closer, you will begin to see more of it's shadows or dark patterns. This happens because the diamond is reflecting the environment around it, as well as your own reflection. Shadows on a diamond can also be seen in photographs or videos because the diamond is reflecting the camera. So when you're taking a picture of a diamond for the first time don't be worried if it seems to be a little dark in certain areas. 

At the end of the day there are many factors that play a role in a diamond's overall brilliance. If a sparkly diamond is important to you, then remember to choose a diamond with a very good or an excellent cut grade. 

If you have anymore questions please feel free to contact us here

Matthew Kaufmann